What does it mean to gently cook food?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 30, 2012 at 5:26 AM

I'm not an experienced cook at all i'm 17 so please be nice. So Guyenet says to Cook foods gently. Minimize grilling, sauteing, broiling, frying, and particularly deep frying to decrease food reward. I don't understand how I should tocook my food then especially without oil. Examples: How do I then cook ground beef, a roast, a steak, vegetables tubers etc. Do I put them in a slow cooker (which I don't have so I'd have to purchase one) or do I cook my food in the oven? Please explain, thanks.


on January 30, 2012
at 08:07 AM

You could ask him: stejagguy@hotmail.com

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5 Answers



on January 30, 2012
at 05:47 AM

It means to cook using as little heat as possible but get it "safely" cooked. High heat cooking can create compounds that aren't healthy. So put your ground beef in a pan and set it to medium and take longer to cook it instead of high heat and short time. The same with vegetables. Some ppl don't worry about this either way. Burn some steaks or eat them raw.



on January 30, 2012
at 12:47 PM

I assume he's referring to avoiding the chemical moficiation of foods. Damaging fats via oxidation, generating polyaromatichydrocarbons, reactive nitrosamines, etc... High heat does this. Charring foods does this.

He's big on food reward so I'm guessing he implicates these compounds are also short-circuiting our brain chemistries. After all, who doesn't love the smell of grilling meat? Boiled hamburger meat? Not so much!

I can see not burning food to a blackened crisp to minimize the generation of some potentially harmful compounds. At the same time, I want to eat tasty food, optimality be damned!



on January 30, 2012
at 05:44 AM

For eggs it would mean to hardboil them or soft boil them or poach them. For meat it would be a crock pot or perhaps roasting in an oven.

I would say the main thing is to cook without added oil when possible. Ground beef for example does not need any oil. Soup is another way to cook things at a low temperature.

These are some of the ways you can do it. If you eat eggs start with those as it is easy to do and then build up over time.



on January 30, 2012
at 01:20 PM

One of my favourite ways to cook roasts is to do a slow cook in the oven. Cook the meat at 350 F for about 20 minutes to seal it, then turn the oven right down to as low as it goes (mine is 170 F). It cooks all day (uncovered) and never gets overdone.

Slow cookers are good too, but the oven will work as one if you cover the dish/pot/pan holding your meat and keep the temperature low. Slow cooker is cheaper to run than an oven though.

I love poached eggs but still miss having the toast underneath them! In the old days, coddled eggs were popular- another slow cooking method.


on January 30, 2012
at 06:15 AM

There are some really great youtube videos that show you how to cook almost anything. Just do a search. There are some great videos with chef Gordan Ramsay.

How to cook a steak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtIiR7DBAqY

How to make perfect scrambled eggs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_B3QNu_Ks

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